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Student story

Aneta Matagi

20 July 2023

"I want to support our Pasifika students in not only their languages but also their cultures..."


Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Primary)

Master of Education endorsed in Teaching and Learning Languages

Language Resource Teacher, Linwood Learning Community Cluster

Balancing family, study, and active involvement in the Samoan community was a challenge that Aneta gladly took on to develop her teaching skills.

Aneta had moved from Samoa and completed undergraduate Primary Teaching studies at UC, before working as a teacher in New Zealand for three years.

Her Master of Education studies focused on language teaching, specifically for the Samoan community that speak English as a second language. Aneta's goal is to ensure students maintain their Pacifika language and cultural roots while having to study primarily in English.

She now puts this into practice with her role teaching language at the different primary and secondary schools in the Linwood Cluster.

"The very important point of my job is to help our Samoan students to keep learning their first language, in order to maintain their skills while they live in a different country," she says. "I want to support our Pasifika students in not only their languages but also their cultures."

Deciding to complete a master's degree supported her goals to help young Samoan children at English-speaking schools, and to build her teaching career in New Zealand.

"It helped me to further my understanding of what I am doing now as a teacher, and also to improve my teaching skills to help students become more successful in their learning," she says.

As a busy mum of four, returning to study took a lot of commitment. She often gained support from the Academic Skills Centre, who were "very helpful with assignments", and from the Education community at UC.

"I got a lot of support from lecturers and classmates, but the strongest supporters were my family. They supported me while I was studying and it kept motivating me to continue and work hard.

"My advice for people who want to study in my degree area is to not give up easily, and try to balance your study and other commitments. I was a mother of four children, working full-time and looking after my old mother who is 80 years of age, as well as being committed to church, and study, but I could still handle all of these."

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